The Bulgarian Medieval State: Seventh To Fourteenth Centuries

in Southeastern Europe
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Abstract

The Bulgarian State has had an independent historical existence and sovereignty for 552 years, from its foundation on the Balkan Peninsula in 681 to its destruction under the assaults of the Ottoman Turks in 1396. It was this long historical existence that was conducive in the Middle Ages to the formation of a staunch and sturdy Bulgarian ethnical community to be preserved throughout the centuries, irrespective of great historical vicissitudes. The medieval Bulgarian state was a considerable political factor in the history of Europe, and of the Balkan Peninsula in particular. It maintained various relations with neighboring and distant states. While the nature of these relations changed with the various periods, they depended on certain factors that had a marked reflection on Bulgaria's international ties and determined the direction of its development. These factors have had basic importantance: 1) the territorial size and the ethnical and military potential of the Bulgarian state; 2) its public and administrative setup and its institutions; 3) the nature and development of its international relations, and 4) the position and the part played by its ruler in the Medieval European "family of rulers and nations." Each of these factors was a precondition for the evolvement of the others. If these factors are to be reviewed through their effects, a possibility is at hand to reveal the role and importance of the Medieval Bulgarian state on the European continent. So far, historiographic attempts to generalize this problem have been a comprehensive examination of the history of the Bulgarian state at its peak moments.1

The Bulgarian Medieval State: Seventh To Fourteenth Centuries

in Southeastern Europe

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